NAPA, CA — A Napa man described by police as a “professional criminal” remains jailed after his latest alleged crime spree that involved breaking into two Napa homes and making off with tools and a BMW from one of them, according to Napa police.
The first burglary was reported around 11:40 p.m. May 19 when a woman in the 2400 block of Flora Street in West Napa called 911 to say a man had just broken into her home.
At the time of the burglary, the 64-year-old woman was home with her husband and elderly mother, Napa police Lt. Gary Pitkin said.
Officers working the night shift responded and checked the area for the burglar. As they met with the victims and reviewed home surveillance camera footage, the officers identified the suspect as Jake Lenning, a 29-year-old Napa transient, Pitkin said.
Lenning was previously arrested April 11 on suspicion of residential burglary, forgery, identity theft and passing bad checks. He posted a $25,000 bail and was released about 5 hours after he was booked, the lieutenant said.
According to Pitkin, surveillance footage from the May 19 suspected burglary revealed that just before 11:40 p.m., Lenning broke into the victims’ car in their driveway.
“The thief then used keys left in the car to unlock the front door and enter the home,” Pitkin said. “The woman confronted Lenning just inside her front door. Lenning stole what he could reach before running out of the home.”
Officers used a police K-9 in an effort to track down Lenning, but he evaded capture.
Just under an hour and a half later, a Napa County sheriff’s deputy saw a BMW drive by the area of Linda Vista Avenue and Culpepper Street at a high rate of speed.
The deputy found the car a short distance away, crashed and abandoned.
Napa police officers and Napa County sheriff’s deputies used K-9s from both departments to search the area, and were successful.
Around 1:30 a.m. May 20, Lenning was found hiding in bushes not far from where he crashed the BMW, Pitkin said.
“Officers determined Lenning had broken into the garage of a home in the 2200 block of Dry Creek Road, before stealing tools and the BMW,” Pitkin said. “Lenning was fleeing the area in the stolen car when he sped past the deputy and crashed a short distance away.”
Lenning was booked into the Napa County Department of Corrections early May 20 on suspicion of two counts of residential burglary, auto theft and theft from an unlocked vehicle.
“Despite the severity of the crimes for which Lenning was arrested, he qualified for immediate release under the California Judicial Council’s Emergency Bail Schedule related to COVID-19, better known as ‘Zero Cash Bail,’ enacted on 4/20,” Pitkin said.
However, a judge approved Napa PD’s request for a bail increase.
As of Tuesday, Lenning remained behind bars in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to jail records.
Altogether, Napa police say Lenning is suspected of burglarizing a total of four homes, most of which occurred when the victims were home; stealing five cars, with four of the thefts within one week in late April; theft from one unlocked car; committing grand theft during a state of emergency, otherwise known as looting; possession of methamphetamine; and resisting arrest.
Anyone with information about the crimes Lenning is accused in is asked to contact Napa Police Detective Brandt Keown at 707-257-9592 or [email protected]